A New Era of Openness
With the swearing in of the 44th President, the U.S. also has a (hopefully) elected new information policy. A few noteworthy developments:
_The new Presidential Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act reverses the Bush Administration’s (Andrew) “Card” Memo that placed an almost a burden of proof on FOIA requestors. The current Presidential Memo states : “The presumption of disclosure also means that agencies should take affirmative steps to make information public. They should not wait for specific requests from the public.”
_Executive Order 13489, which reversed Bush E.O. 13233. Highlights include:
A change of definition in presidential records to include vice-presidential records;
What seems to me as a non-constitutional lawyer, is less of an emphasis on the current president’s claim of executive privilege. Per EO 13489, “a substantial question of executive privilege’ exists if NARA’s disclosure of Presidential records might impair national security (including the conduct of foreign relations), law enforcement, or the deliberative processes of the executive branch.”
What isn’t clear to me – even though 13233 is revoked by 13489 – are privilege claims of families (“the family of the former President may designate a representative (or series or group of alternative representatives, as they in their discretion may determine) to act on the former President’s behalf for purposes of the Act and this order, including with respect to the assertion of constitutionally based privileges…”)
If anyone has any insights, post away.